Monday, August 24, 2009
Is it Monday already? I feel as if I’ve blinked and lost a whole month. The summer-like weather we’ve been experiencing in Sydney has also added to the feeling of things speeding up. My daughter keeps reminding me that it’s only three more months until Christmas (according to 6 year old maths, you don’t count the month you’re in or the month that includes Christmas).
So here we are again at another Malaysian Monday, attempting to persuade Mr Kitchen Hand to eat a malaysian dessert.
This Sago Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar Sago) proved really tricky to photograph well but the making of the dessert is super simple albeit a little time consuming (it requires chilling time).
Sago Gula Melaka is actually just a set mould of sago, served with coconut milk and a gula melaka (dark palm sugar) syrup. There are so many recipes out there for Sago Gula Melaka, but most of them are just variations of how much water, sugar or coconut milk to use in the dessert. It’s all a matter of taste. When we were kids this meant drowning the sago in tons of the gula melaka syrup and adding very little (if any) coconut milk.
I’ve thrown together my version without really referring to a recipe as such, but I’ve outlined my measurements and method below. Feel free to re-mix it your way. (A lot of Malaysian cooking involves “agak-agak” (literally guess-guess)measurements anyway, and because a lot of desserts are not baked, the exactness of measurements aren’t as crucial.)
And did Mr. Kitchen Hand like it? The results please….
The MKH Scale-O-Meter (scores out of 5)
Appearance: 2.5 –“Elegantly presented biological material”
Texture: 2 – “It’s slimy and it’s cold!”
Taste: 2.5 – “Started off nice but then ended up really weak – the sago is flavourless”
Ah well, there’s always next Monday. Have a great week ahead and do drop by soon ☺
Sago Gula Melaka
(makes 4 small dessert portions)
(For the sago)
1 cup sago (approx. 175g)
6-8 cups water
To serve: Canned or fresh coconut milk with a pinch of salt added.
(For the gula melaka syrup)
About 25g gula melaka roughly chopped.
1 tablespoon caster sugar
½ cup water.
(Place all ingredients in small saucepan, Stir until sugars are dissolved. Simmer gently until reduced and syrupy)
Method for sago
1) Lightly oil 4 small jelly moulds or similar, or one large mould. (My aunty always makes this in a tin shaped like a rabbit.)
2) In a large pot, bring the 6 -8 cups of water to the boil.
3) In a bowl, lightly wash the sago pearls, then drain in a sieve. Give it a light rinse to remove excess starch.
4) When the water is boiling, add the sago pearls stirring all the while to stop the sago from sinking and sticking to the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to a medium simmer.
5) Stir the sago often, it will release a lot of starch. Cook until the sago pearls are transparent. This can take up to half an hour depending on how much water is in the pot and the cooking temperature.
6) Drain the cooked sago in a heat proof sieve and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch again. The aim is to get visible pearls rather than a lump of starch.You will probably need to do this in batches.
7) Tip into moulds, cover and refrigerate overnight – if you prefer a firmer sago, you can leave uncovered in the fridge to dry out and firm up a bit.
Serve with coconut milk and syrup on the side so that everyone can have as much or as little as they want.